'We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans'
President Barack Obama "is being failed by his economic team" and should replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic policy director Larry Summers, says US House Rep. Peter DeFazio.
The prominent member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus told MSNBC's The Ed Show that he and other House members are growing increasingly frustrated by a White House economic policy that focuses on maintaining the financial stability of Wall Street firms while largely overlooking Main Street concerns.
"I think there is a growing consensus in the [Democratic] caucus [that] we need a new economic team that cares more about jobs, Main Street and the American people than it does about Wall Street and huge bonuses," DeFazio (D-OR) told host Ed Schultz.
DeFazio suggested that the government "reclaim the unspent funds ... reclaim some of the funds that are being paid back, which will not be paid back in full, and we use it to put people back to work rebuilding America's infrastructure.
"We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans," DeFazio said.
DeFazio criticized Geithner for not being forthcoming about where TARP bailout money went, saying that the treasury secretary was "absolutely not" coming clean about how the government used $700 billion of taxpayers' money to rescue ailing Wall Street firms.
A news analysis at CBS published yesterday says that the US Treasury "gave away the farm" when it bailed out insurance giant AIG, pointing out that, in normal bankruptcy cases, creditors would receive only a fraction of the money they lent the bankrupt company. But because AIG did not declare bankruptcy and was bailed out by TARP instead, taxpayers ended up being on the hook for 100 percent of the insurer's debts.
Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs was AIG's largest creditor, and many observers argue it was Goldman's involvement in the bailout that resulted in AIG creditors receiving all the money owed them.
DeFazio has a long track record of liberal populism. During the Bush administration era, he voted against Republican-sponsored tax cuts and funding measures for the Iraq war.
The following video was broadcast on MSNBC's The Ed Show, and uploaded to the Web by the FireDogLake blog.